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The Superior Importance of Moral Duties.

The Superior Importance of Moral Duties.

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MATTHEW, ix. 13.

* But go ye, and learn what that meaneth ;
I will have mercy, and not sacrifice"

MATTHEW, ix. 13.

* But go ye, and learn what that meaneth ;
I will have mercy, and not sacrifice"

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 03, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE SUPERIOR IMPORTANCE OF MORAL DUTIES. REV. R. MOREHEAD, A. M.MATTHEW, ix. 13. * But go ye, and learn what that meaneth ; I will have mercy, and not sacrifice" 1 HE Pharisees, who were particularly rigid in their outward demeanour, al-though their hearts were very far from being penetrated with just sentiments of religion, pretended to find fault with our Saviour, for the ease and freedom with which he frequented all kinds of society, THE SUPERIOR IMPORTANCE, &C. as if by so doing, he was derogating from that high character which he assumed. " Why eateth your master with publicans and sinners ?" was a question which they fre-
quently put to his disciples ; and the an-swer which it received from Jesus was one into the spirit of which they were probably very little capable of entering. " They that be whole (says he) need not a physician, but they that are sick :" and then in the words of the text he proceeds ; " but go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice" As if he had said ; " In consequence of your perverted notions of religion, you cannot at all comprehend the nature of my mis-sion. You suppose that religion consists in a formal attention to rites and cere-monies ; I came into the world to shew that it is an active principle, operating upon man as a member of society, and leading to a course of unwearied benefi-o 210 THE SUPERIOR IMPORTANCE
cence : you suppose that the Deity is gra-tified with the pomp of worship and the sanctity of the countenance ; I came to shew that a good heart is what he re-quires, and that he judges of the heart much more from the conduct of man with man, than from any praises or adoration which can be bestowed on himself!" The error of the Pharisees, which our Saviour here exposes, is one which is very apt to insinuate itself into the minds of those, who, having acquired a speculative belief in matters of faith, have yet ne-glected to apply their religious principles to the discipline of the heart. Religion, considered merely as a speculation, opens up so wide a field, whether we inquire into the divine attributes, into the immor-tality of man, or that peculiar dispensa-tion of Providence revealed to us in the gospel ; that the rnind which is occupied with such investigations, is frequently

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